A recent article by my significant other and sometimes fiancé pointed out that I’m pining a bit for something Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 has that iPhone does not but should have.
Today’s smartphones are smarter than ever, more capable than ever, and likely far more secure than ever thanks to features like Touch ID. Apple made fingerprint security a mass market layer of security but there’s more to be done and Samsung did it already.
‘Taking Blood Sample Now’
Short of a future scenario where devices can read our DNA from a blood sample, and do it instantly to ensure identification, we’re left with a limited number of layers that Apple should be able to expand upon. Why? Samsung is there already.
Touch ID is great. Longer passwords can help. But the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 comes with iris scanning technology built in and it’s likely we’ll see more of this in the future. There are multiple layers that make sense even to the masses of premium smartphone buyers.
First, the fingerprint, and frankly, Apple has that nailed down tight with Touch ID. Sure, someone could lop off your finger and gain access. If they know which finger to use. The right kind of criminal might be able to grab a fingerprint from a glass and use it to open your iPhone, but we’re starting to border on the edge of absurdity and diminishing returns.
Second, iris recognition. We’ll see over time whether Samsung’s approach has legs but scanning the iris in your eye and using that record to allow access to your smartphone seems like a good use of modern technology and the built-in camera that’s always watching your face anyway. Would a close up photograph of your eyeball give criminals and government spooks access to an iris scanner in an iPhone? Maybe.
Third, facial recognition. Why isn’t this in the iPhone already? The camera is there. It would make sense to take multiple photos of the same face to ensure a good match, but because facial recognition could be used as a layer of security upon Touch ID, it wouldn’t have to be perfect and easily could account for the state of your eyes after a night out.
Fourth, voice recognition. Again, it’s all about levels of precision and since there’s already a microphone built-in to the iPhone, why isn’t this there already? Speak into the mic a dozen times, even record a special word to unlock the phone, and another layer of security makes the whole package difficult to break into.
Finally, here’s the scenario I see coming down the road and it is neither farfetched nor difficult, and certainly no more effort than using Touch ID today.
Lift up your iPhone so the screen, and the camera, faces your face. Press the Home button to implement Touch ID while speaking the voice recognition lock word, which takes place as the front-facing camera scans your face and your iris. That process may take a split second longer than Touch ID on an iPhone 6s Plus (which sometimes is too fast) but you get the idea– multiple layers of security, none of which have to be absolutely perfect, but can get close enough when combined to ensure a level of security that goes well beyond each one individually.
Samsung is moving into iris scanner as a security layer for a reason. People are willing to pay more for a smartphone that has better security. What is taking Apple so long to realize that?